Every night, about a third of adults have problems falling or staying asleep that aren’t related to a persistent sleep disorder. As they lie in bed, many are caught in the classic paradox of insomnia: wanting sleep so badly that they can’t get it. The condition of sleep is profoundly contradictory. It is a precious good but it is a good like none other, because to obtain it one must seemingly give up the imperative to have it.
Here are a few steps which you can use to stop negative thoughts from keeping you awake :
- Accept that you are awake : You can expect to get less sleep under certain circumstances. Accepting the reality of your situation takes the pressure off trying to get to sleep and may make you feel more relaxed. And its worth noting, if you are able to lie in bed in a relaxed state, it can be almost as restorative as sleeping.
- Contain your negative thoughts : Only allow yourself to worry in a certain time and place. When you think of a worry write it on a piece of paper and put it in a box. By writing down your worry and putting it in a box, you are literally containing it until your designated worry time. This means your brain can be rest assured that you till attend to this worry.
- Relaxation exercises for sleep : If you feel stressed during the day, this can impact your sleep at night. A state of relaxation is incompatible with tension and there are a variety of ways to achieve a calm mindset before bed like gentle stretching, mindfulness and meditative practices, soothing music and relaxation exercises.
- Gratitude & Sleep : Turns out gratitude is related to positive sleeping patterns including decreased time to fall asleep, better sleep quality and duration, and less daytime dysfunction. So add a gratitude journal to your pre sleep routine. It is as simple as writing down three new things that you are grateful for every night.
In general, remember that sleep is a priority in your life. It helps you perform at your best and be healthy. Consider what habits may be increasing your anxiety and try the techniques above to help you relax and get ready for bed.